Saturday, 12 March 2011

Melingo in London

So, that music, 'bluegrass meets canyengue', that so intrigued my ear with a refreshing, heart-felt sound, even if it's not the sound of the golden age, which after all was quite a while ago...

It's always interesting to hear music developing. It's what music has always done. Musicians have always listened, and helped themselves to what suits their own paths. As Jean-Luc Godard (who's borrowed a few things in his time) said: 'It's not where you take it from that matters: it's where you take it to'. Or did he take that from Picasso?

Thanks, Ali: the music in that video is a track called Luisito and it's on Daniel Melingo's second album, Tango Maldito, available as a download from Amazon. It's the most interesting growth of tango music I've heard. Orquesta Escuela de Tango Emilio Balcarce has done wonderful work in getting golden-age musicians to train young players, and they play golden age tango with real individuality, but it's still the old music, the old arrangements and songs. Gotan Project spoiled (to me) the music by bringing in the inflexible beat of the drum. Melingo, '...bohemian of Buenos Aires, and so of the world', writes his own music, and sings his songs with a classic quartet; bandoneon, bass, violin, guitar. He looks back to the songs of Edmundo Rivero and Roberto Goyeneche, who he sounds like. Fascinating music and song, even if it's not really played as music for dancing.

& it so happens that the Melingo quartet will play at the Barbican in London on April 6 as part of the wonderful La Línea festival that highlights the best Latin music each year. Curiously, they are the support act for the singer Yasmin Levy, who explores Judeo-Spanish song and Flamenco. To put all that into one concert!

Most of the YouTube videos of Melingo are from a 2001 concert, and the balance isn't good, but this one is a neat animation, and the music is well recorded. & here he is again, talking about his music and singing. See you at the concert!

Oh, and the Melingo website is here. In English, and a fun read.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mmm,I do hope that you are not going over to the dark side with the modern music,Tango Commuter!Here is a thought for you on floorcraft(or not).
Watching the dancers at a milonga in Southampton recently,it looked like three or four of the leaders had improved their tango.Being asked to dance by a woman(yes,I am shy)I kept being bumped by these leaders, or had to take avoiding action through the tanda.Thinking it could have been me(we do have our 'weak moments' as leaders),I watched the men closely.All were afflicted by foot or cleavage-watching,completely oblivious to those around them,and determined to finish the figurework they had been taught from one of our resident experts.I guess floorcraft is an art,no? Kind Regards,Alan Jones from Southampton.